March 1, 2018

Lady Bird (2017)

Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf


Everyone has a favorite genre. Whether it's sci-fi, historical dramas, or horror, our inclination to seek out these types of movies also generally biases our opinion in favor of movies that conform to our preferences. Obviously.

So in my coming of age-loving heart, this movie was flawless. I would not change one single thing about it. Not the casting. Not the wardrobe. Not the choppy way it jumps from scene to scene, sometimes skipping chunks of time. Not even the ending, which was decidedly more sappy than I expected.

Of course, I only watched it once and again, I have a heavy bias toward stories that revolve around high school girls. But still. It is such a realistic portrayal of that age, without romanticizing it or condescending to those of that age. It is a perfectly relatable story that's frankly, nothing remarkable, yet manages to have such impact. Nothing is too heavy or too light, no scene drags on for too long, nor are we ever left with the sense that we've missed something. It is perfection.

As an aside, I had an exceptionally terrible viewing experience (read my entire tweet thread here), and yet I still walked out of the theater totally in love. (I'm not exaggerating about the circumstances. Read my thread.) Who knew a 23 yr old (Ronan) and a 34 yr old (Gerwig) could so thoroughly immerse us in the high school experience?

All of this makes me think back to my review last week of The Florida Project, in which I complained that nothing happened in the movie. I didn't connect with the characters, nor did I care much about their journey. I understand all the ways in which that movie and this one are similar, and yet I loved one and didn't care for the other. Personal journeys are both commonplace and unique and perhaps because of my background and experiences, this one resonated with me. That's what took it from "great directing and great acting" to "perfection." Because like The Florida Project, I can recognize a well done movie even if it's not my taste. And this one is. It just also happens to be exactly what I love.

Final word: *hearts-as-eyes emojis*

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